By Basil M. Karatzas, Founder, Karatzas Marine Advisors & Company Until recently, the offshore drilling market had the distinction of employing the most expensive assets in the maritime industry. A decade ago,
JANUARY 5, 2018 — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced what he called “the next step for responsibly developing the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program
MAY 3, 2017 — Conservation and Alaska Native groups today filed a lawsuit against President Trump in federal district court in Alaska. It challenges his decision to eliminate a permanent ban on new
That’s heartening news for Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) operators such as Tidewater, Edison Chouest, Bourbon, Hornbeck Offshore, Seabulk and Maersk, which are dealing with the current challenging offshore oil and gas market. In a presentation at the recent Johnson Rice 2015 Energy Conference, Tidewater reported it had 38 vessels stacked as of the end of June. It has also announed plans to scrap 11 older vessels.
In its most recent monthly report, Baker Hughes reported that there were 29 drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico, down from 59 a year ago.
Mordor Intelligence’s report, the Global Offshore Support Vessel Market, focuses on the market sectors by vessel type, including Anchor Handling Tug/Anchor Handling Towing Supply Vessels (AHT/AHTSs), Multi-Purpose/Multi-Role Supply Vessels (MPSV), Platform Supply Vessels, Construction Support Vessel (CSV), Specialty Vessels and others. It also breaks down activity by region: North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific (APAC), South America and Middle-East & Africa (MEA). The report analyzes and projects the market share of each region for the next 5 years.
Most promising regions for OSV market are the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa, the North Sea, South East Asia, the Middle East and Asia. Mordor Intelligence estimates that major part of the demand will be for AHTS, PSVs, and seismic research vessels.
As oil and gas explorations move towards deeper waters, explains Mordor Intelligence, multi-functional offshore support vessels are now called upon to perform different tasks, and have created various niches or categories within the market. Present day offshore support vessels are equipped with increased cargo capacity, panoramic navigation bridge visibility, large accommodation spaces, enhanced crew amenities and state-of-the-art propulsion and automation systems.
According to Mordor Intelligence, AHTS vessels comprise a 56% of the market share, followed by Platform Support Vessels. Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) Vessels are generally equipped with large accommodation spaces, heavy lift cranes, helidecks and streamlined bow forms for operation in harsh environments. Vessels specialized for multi-tasking carry out maintenance and repair operations on platform facilities, as well as subsea pipelines and equipment.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2015—Publicly traded Freeport-McMoRan reported that it discovered oil from its Horn Mountain Deep well in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Initial production from the well, which will be tied back to
Shell found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, but they were not sufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect. The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with U.S. regulations.
In addition to the disappointing results from the Burger J, other reasons cited by Shell for deciding to end the Alaska program were its high costs and “the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”
The company expects to take financial charges as a result of this announcement. The balance sheet carrying value of Shell’s Alaska position is approximately $3.0 billion, with approximately a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments. An update will be provided with the third quarter 2015 results.
Here’s the full text of today’s statement from Shell:
Shell today provides an update on the Burger J exploration well, located in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The Burger J well is approximately 150 miles from Barrow, Alaska, in about 150 feet of water. Shell safely drilled the well to a total depth of 6800 feet this summer in a basin that demonstrates many of the key attributes of a major petroleum basin. For an area equivalent to half the size of the Gulf of Mexico, this basin remains substantially under-explored.Shell has found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect. The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with U.S. regulations.
“The Shell Alaska team has operated safely and exceptionally well in every aspect of this year’s exploration program,” said Marvin Odum, Director, Shell Upstream Americas. “Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US. However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin.”
Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.
The company expects to take financial charges as a result of this announcement. The balance sheet carrying value of Shell’s Alaska position is approximately $3.0 billion, with approximately a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments. An update will be provided with the third quarter 2015 results.Shell holds a 100% working interest in 275 Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the Chukchi Sea.
Operations will continue to safely de-mobilize people and equipment from the Chukchi Sea.
AUGUST 7, 2015—Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) are keeping a sharp eye on Shell’s “top-hole” drilling operations being conducted off of Alaska in
JULY 29, 2015 — The icebreaker MV Fennica, which suffered damage to its hull on July 3, may have been damaged by a previously uncharted shoal. At the time, the ship was
JANUARY 27, 2015 — The Obama Administration today announced a proposed offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017-2022 that National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi called “a small step
AUGUST 11, 2014—As of August 8, there were 60 rigs operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, up five from the same period one year ago, according to Baker Hughes rotary rig